Australian Poker Tour set to return from September
The Australian Poker Tour wants to bring live poker back to Australia, with Casino Aus reporting the tour is set to relaunch on the Gold Coast.
The live poker tournament operator focused on the Australian poker market and had few options when casinos and card rooms closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since regulated online poker is not an option in Australia, the APT could not put their tournaments online.
This had been an option for series’ the likes of the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour, since they had live audiences around the world.
Even those, however, have not been open to Aussie players.
APT chief executive officer David Miles tried to work with the Australian Communications and Media Authority to obtain approval for some type of online activity – in the form of cash satellites – but it is unclear as to the approvals and success of that project.
Last week, the APT began teasing fans on its Facebook page, promoting a June 27 announcement.
The APT delivered.
First tournament since COVID-19 to take place on the Gold Coast
The tour announced that it will host its first post-pandemic event at Southport Sharks on the Gold Coast in September.
The three-day live tournament series scheduled for September 4 to 6 will feature 11 tournaments.
Southport Sharks began its reopening on June 11 with the Mantra hotel facility and meeting rooms, as well as the rooftop bar.
The gaming room reopened last weekend at the Southport Sharks, though it will be a gradual opening with partial capacity to start and limited dining options.
If all goes well, the facility will open further in the weeks and months to come.
The APT will reveal the details and dates of the series, but CEO Miles did note a few things.
Formats will include 6-Max Shot Clock High Roller, Big Bounty and National Teams Event.
Overall prize pools are estimated to be $300,000, with main event buy-in at $200, a slight increase on the expected $175.
Mr Miles spoke to Poker Media Australia about the event and the relaunch of the tour.
He talked about the lack of guarantees on the tournaments in the series.
“No, they won’t be a factor at this stage,” he said.
“In the grand scheme of things, we don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s why the Gold Coast will be a really good test run for us because if we’re able to get enough people playing in the Main Event, the side events will fill up as well.”
He hopes that players will understand the uncertainty behind the lack of guarantees, considering the state of the Australian economy.
However, that Gold Coast event will be a huge determinant in what the APT is able to do going forward.
Players appear very anxious to get back on the tables.
Mr Miles noted that the APTLive Facebook page has received more than 8,000 views on the WPT Gold Coast announcement post.
It has been shared more than 100 times, and at least 90 people say they will attend. Another 200 people are interested.
At this point, Mr Miles said the plan for the Southport Sharks venue is to space table at least 1.5 metres apart.
There may be up to 10 people per table, but it will depend on the square metre guidelines from the venue.
The poker floor will be reconfigured to handle 40 tables instead of 50.